With more than 98 per cent of buyers clicking on to the internet to search for their new homes, the first few seconds’ viewing has become make or break.
Check local homes for sale on the web and you will see some showing bright, sunny rooms with a minimum of clutter, flowers on the table and fresh towels and bedding.
The next photo down could be a dingy house with unmade beds, dirty dishing in the sink, washing on the line and toys and clothes left lying around.
The first will instantly catch the eye of potential buyers, while the second will turn them off just as quickly.
All this means that today you have to take an active part in selling your home and learn to market it. Put yourself in the place of buyers and imagine you are seeing your house for the first time.
Make sure everything is clutter free.
She says: “The key to best presenting a house for sale is to tidy, declutter, clean, neutralise the decor, fix minor repairs, decorate if appropriate and subtly accessorise.”
Ms Bruce offers these top five tips for readying your home for sale:
- Store excess and outdated furniture, books and toys off site. Do not use the loft or garage where viewers will want to look.
- Fix chips in woodwork, cracks in plaster, broken tiles or glass and dripping taps, and replace mouldy grout or sealant in the bathroom.
- Neutralise the decor by painting over bold colours and get rid of patterned carpets. Remove family photos and ornaments and use colour sparingly on a few accent pieces.
- Clean outside and in, including all surfaces and floors, both sides of windows and ledges and cobwebs clinging to walls. Do not forget to tidy the front garden as that is the first thing buyers will see.
- Style and accessorise by making up the beds with fresh neutral linen, dress the table for dinner, turn on lamps and add flowers and fresh fluffy towels.
Follow this advice, make sure your home is looking at its best, and you are ready to show to potential buyers.
When providing details of a property you should supply as much information as possible to attract buyers, so think about your home’s best selling points.
For instance, is there parking available? Is there potential in the future to extend the house or add a conservatory? Does the building have any period features? If you have a garden, what makes it special?
Of course, in online listings the pictures are by far the most important part so it is worth having professional photos taken. Photographers use wide-angle lens to give viewers the best impression of properties.
A trained photographer, talks about photographing property:
“I cover all around south Birmingham and into Warwickshire and Worcestershire, so I photograph a real mix of rural and urban properties. Good photography is vital to selling a home. First impressions count and it is the photos that will make buyers decide whether they want to book a viewing or not.
“Once they’re in a property, that’s when they’ll decide whether they want to make an offer. I try to ensure that my images communicate what I am seeing. So if there is something wonderful or attractive in the property, such as a feature staircase, fantastic kitchen or gloriously manicured garden, I ensure that the image clearly shares this with the viewer.
“It takes about two hours to do a big six-bedroom place and half an hour for a one-bed flat, although that all depends on how much I have to move to take the shots. Clutter and pets are my two biggest nightmares. The amount of times I’ve had cats darting out of a picture leaving a streaky blur – normally people put them in the garden or a utility room. If there’s clutter, I move anything distracting out of a photo.
“I take my own lighting and will work on the photos in post-production so that each area is shown at its best. It can be a bit like constructing a painting. Period houses are my favourite – there’s always so much detail and lovely high ceilings.“